Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sunnis Withdraw from Iraqi Government but Surge is a Success?

After a week of the Administration trotting out various “experts” to claim that the surge is working at a military level, this minor news item hit the wires then disappeared rather quickly from my Yahoo front page.

Does anyone remember that the stated purpose of the surge was to give the Iraqi government the time and space necessary to achieve political stability? This AP article does, but it seems that no one else does. If there are essentially no Sunnis participating in the Iraqi government, how representative is it? One of the major items of contention has been the development of a “hydrocarbon” agreement for Iraq. In simpler terms, that’s the question of who controls oil production and the money that comes with it. The June report to Congress indicated that there has been no actual progress on this front and thus there has been basically no progress towards political stability in Iraq. In the meantime, the Iraqi parliament took a 30 day break.

There’s one other problem with the optimistic “surge” talk. You know those Sunni groups that they’re bragging about arming to fight Al Qaeda? Those same groups are also fighting the Shiites in general. While the President has been trying to focus our attention on Al Qaeda of Iraq, he’s neglected to mention the fact that most of the violence in Iraq remains sectarian. They’re arming groups that have in many cases been actively resisting the Iraqi government itself.

The only war that’s being won here is the propaganda war that’s being waged on the American people.



At 8/02/2007 01:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because of this arming of Sunni militias (“Oh boy, free weapons from the amazingly gullible Americans!”), Mr. Maliki is so enraged at General Petraeus that he’s threatening to demand that the general be replaced. Mr. Crocker, the U.S. ambassador, admits Mr. Petraeus & Mr. Maliki have had “sporty exchanges.” Which is code according to Mr. Maliki's aides for slinging of bitter recrimination each upon the other.

At 8/02/2007 07:51:00 AM, Blogger None said...

No Sunnis and Shiites.. oh my. Mr. Maliki could be as corrupt as GW. But everything is surge-er-riffic!

At 8/02/2007 10:49:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Mr. Pogblog,
one of the interesting things about the Pentagon's own progress report in June was that they mentioned that incidents of violence had risen outside Baghdad because the surge itself had been focused on Baghdad. Remember, the idea wasn't "We'll win the war with 30,000 more troops", the strategy was that we will stabilize the capital so that the Iraqi government can make progress towards reconciliation and long-term stability. It's only in the last few weeks that they moved the goal posts to make it seem that the surge was strictly a military strategy.
As you point out, things are not good with Maliki either with the Americans or the Sunnis.

I suspect there's been a fair amount of "colonialism" in the way the US and US media have portrayed various Iraqi leaders. In particular, the US has been making it sound like the Iraqi parliament is unwilling to unite and deal with Al Qaeda style terrorism. e.g. they just want to yell at one another and blow one another up.

In fact, much of the quarrel has been over very criticial internal choices that have to do with actual "nation-building". Because we give such short shrift to the 3 way sectarian struggle that's always been at the heart of modern in they've been working on these basic issues since World War 1, it tends to make the Iraqi parliament look like idiots and plays to existing American stereotypes about the Moslem world.

It's naive to say, Hey guys solve your 80 year old problem this summer for all time and we'll be off and running here, followed by why can't you just get it together?


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